Washington, D.C., Police Chief Cathy Lanier is defending her demotion of a high-level commander whose unit provided a controversial police escort for Charlie Sheen in April when the actor was late for a performance, reports the city’s Post. Lanier said that Hilton Burton, who led the Special Operations Division, had been transferred. The move came two months after Burton and Lanier sparred during a council hearing over the department's practice of providing police escorts for visiting celebrities.
Lanier denied Tuesday that Burton's council testimony led to the demotion, saying he had underperformed in his role. She did not detail his performance. The Sheen episode cast an unusual public light on the Special Operations post. The division rarely interacts with the public, but the commander's job is highly visible within the department because of its responsibility for arranging presidential motorcades, responding to bomb threats, and overseeing specialized motorcycle and helicopter units.